West Ham United have somehow been awarded the same mark as Nuno Espirito Santo’s brilliant Wolverhampton Wanderers side.

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Before last season began West Ham were being heavily tipped to challenge for the European spots.

The Hammers had just broken their transfer record again with the signing of Sebastien Haller for £45million.

Meanwhile Wolves were being warned by pundits and fans about second season syndrome in the Premier League.

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Hammers were backed to challenge for Europe

Manuel Pellegrini’s side looked set fair to make good on the predictions by starting the season unbeaten in seven.

But it all fell apart, the Chilean was sacked and West Ham’s squad was brutally exposed in what turned out to be a season-long battle against the drop.

David Moyes returned midway through and barely improved West Ham’s results.

All the while Wolves were winning praise and plaudits for their attacking verve and obdurate defensive organisation.

The blend Wolves competing for the Champions League spots right up until the penultimate weekend of the Premier League campaign.

And Wolverhampton’s season is far from over with the Europa League campaign set to resume and the carrot of Champions League qualification should they win it.

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The tale of two very different seasons for clubs going in very different directions

In fairness to Moyes the Hammers started to look a more organised outfit before lockdown. Results picked up and West Ham finished the season with three vital wins and three draws from their last seven games to secure safety.

But a 16th place finish is hardly what West Ham fans signed up for when they left their beloved Upton Park for promises of a brighter future at the London Stadium.

So there was bemusement when Sky Sports pundit Charlie Nicholas gave West Ham the same grade as Wolves when assessing each Premier League club’s campaign.

Nicholas gave Wolves a C+ grade. And he delivered the same grade for West Ham, who finished a full nine places below the Molineux side.

 

“David Moyes did a fantastic job,” Nicholas said on Sky Sports.

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Sky Sports pundit baffles by giving West Ham season the same grade as Wolves

“He worked a way to get the defence better, Lukasz Fabianski hasn’t been as good as in previous seasons but he’s still their best keeper, he’s got more out of midfield too, and got Michail Antonio playing in a position which suits him.

“I think they would be crazy not to extend his contract and say here’s a bit of money, that’s the second time you’ve got us out of trouble, you did it with a bit of style this time too.

“I could see signs of what Moyes was building at Everton. It was slow, it took him time, but I could see this going the same way.”

West Ham cannot allow staying up to become some sort of achievement.

If that is to be the case then they should have stayed at Upton Park.

Five years ago unpopular co-owners David Sullivan and David Gold were boldly stating West Ham could win the Premier League and Champions League by 2020, citing Atletico Madrid as inspiration (The Daily Mail).

Yet here West Ham are scraping survival with a couple of games to spare.

This is a league that will only get more fiercely competitive next season.

The likes of Leeds and West Brom are back in the mix and billionaire-backed Aston Villa are sticking around – thanks in no small part to West Ham’s lacklustre final day performance.

West Ham’s grade should have been F for failure.

Rewarding underachievement with a C+ just feeds into the small club mentality that has held West Ham back for generations.

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